Iraq mission, anti-terror bill continue to dominate Hill debate
Also today: National Fiddling Day proposal moves one step closer to law
A day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his proposal to extend and expand Canada's ongoing military efforts against ISIS, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and Defence Minister Jason Kenney are set to brief reporters on what Canada has accomplished thus far as part of the "global fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
- ISIS mission has support of Canadians, polls suggest
- Iraq mission: Stephen Harper leaves questions unanswered
- Iraq debate gets heavy topspin from Canada's politicians
Back on the Hill, the House public safety committee once again convenes a special after-hours session to continue its review of the proposed anti-terror bill.
On the witness list for Wednesday evening (6:30-8:30 p.m. ET):
- Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow
- Canadian Labour Congress
- Mackenzie Institute
- Thomas Quiggan
- Canadian Bar Association
- American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Also on the committee agenda: National Defence conducts a pro forma review of three recent appointments: John Forster and John Turner as deputy minister and associate deputy minister, respectively, and Greta Bossenmaier as chief of the Communications Security Establishment.
When the Chamber reopens for business later today, MPs will resume the final round of House debate on the government's proposal to increase penalties for "child predators."
Later this evening, they'll turn their attention back to Conservative Senator Elizabeth Hubley's bid to create National Fiddling Day, which has already garnered the approval of the Upper House, and now requires only the final endorsement of the Commons — and, of course, Royal Assent — to become law, which could take place in time to mark the inaugural observance on the third Sunday of May.
Before all that gets underway, however, MPs retreat behind closed doors for the traditional Wednesday morning caucus confabs, with at least one leader — Justin Trudeau — already serving notice that he will make himself available to the press after discussions wrap up.
Meanwhile, as has become a regular occurrence since they parted ways with their former Commons colleagues, the Senate Liberals will hold an open discussion on the "scramble for the Arctic" and the Law of the Sea, during which they will hear from lawyers and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami officials.
Elsewhere on the Hill:
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler teams up with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Conservative MP David Anderson, New Democrat MP Murray Rankin, Liberal MP Marc Garneau, Conservative Senators Raynell Andreychuk and Linda Frum and human rights activist Bill Browder to show their collective support for imposing additional sanctions against Russia over human rights violations — and, more specifically, "enounce Russian officials involved in the 2009 imprisonment, torture, and murder of Sergei Magnitsky," who worked for Browder at the time that he was imprisoned after uncovering "a major case of tax fraud."
A coalition of "faith leaders," including Institute for Canadian Values president Charles McVety, One Free World International Founder Majed El Shafie and representatives from the Association for Reformed Political Action, the Bill Prankard Evangelistic Association and MYCanada, hold a mid-morning press conference to "address the issue of freedom of religion and conscience in Canada, and call upon the Canadian government to defend the rights of churches, schools and communities domestically."
Outside the precinct, Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre drops by Sandy Hill Child Care to share "an important announcement" on his government's "support for children and families."
Finally, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq delivers opening remarks art the Circumpolar Mental Wellness Symposium in Nunavut.